“You know what the Turing Test is?” Nathan. “It’s when a human interacts with a computer … and if the human doesn’t know that they are interacting with a computer, the test is passed.” Caleb.
Have you ever wondered, that if a robot passes a Turing Test, would it qualify as a human being? Do we really judge a human by their intelligence or rather by their humanity?
The movie Ex Machina is a science fiction movie, directed by Alex Garland. It is based on the Turing Test which was developed by Alan Turing a Computer scientist. According to Alan, “If a machine could fool humans into thinking that it’s a human, then it must be at least as intelligent as a normal human.” Meaning they have the same brain capacity as the humans. The protagonist of the movie is a programmer called Caleb who wins a competition to spend some time at a private mountain research facility belonging to Nathan. We do not know much about Caleb, but we do know that he is a nerd who has no girlfriend, no friends, and who may have sex with machines if he gets the chance.
Caleb meets Ava the humanoid robot, he is fascinated by “her”. This rises another argument; is Ava a her or it? Let’s leave that for the next time, but for the sake facilitating our work let us refer to Ava as her. After meeting Ava, the Turing Test begins. Caleb tests Ava, then he gives his results to Nathan and this goes on for some time. Eventually Caleb develops a romantic relationship with Ava. He finds out that Nathan is interacting with his previous android models in a very bad way and Nathan may get rid of Ava for the sake of his experiments which upsets Caleb. Caleb plays the hero role: he plots a plan to save Ava and run away with her to the human world and live a happy life. Cute huh? Well, things don’t go the way he thinks of them. Later we found out that the whole plan was to see if Ava could manipulate Caleb and get her freedom by using him. The climax of the movie is when Ava successfully escapes the research facility, leaving behind one dead body and one caged inside a room for the rest of his life with no food and water. Ava successfully over-smarts the humans and passes the Turing Test.
I believe that even if Ava passed the Turing Test, she cannot be considered a human yet. Of course, she is intelligent specially her language capacity is very upgraded, but she is lacking humanity because stabbing Nathan and leaving behind Caleb -her lover- in a locked room, we do not get a human act feeling here. Her goal was to get the hell out of there using any means she could think of and her only way out was Caleb. Since Ava has been locked inside her room from the very beginning and she wasn’t introduced to any kind of violence. There is a question that pops up into our mind that how come Ava cold bloodedly stabbed Nathan and Left Caleb -her jail break companion- behind. She took two persons lives and didn’t even care about it. The desire of freedom was installed into her and her intelligence told her that if you want to survive these two must die here.
One thing is for sure that if a machine passes the Turing Test, it doesn’t mean that they have consciousness and they are humane.